President Obama's appointment of Dr. Donald Berwick to head the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) may be the beginning of the end for socialized medicine.
When the Democrats passed their health insurance nationalization scheme known as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare), they knew it was unpopular. The conventional wisdom among liberals was that it would become more popular with the people as time went on and people saw the glorious benefits of the program.
But those benefits are fleeting, and the price steep. Not only will young people who don't see the need for health insurance not get it for free, they'll be fined for not having it. Their employers will be fined for not providing it. Sure, there will be subsidies. But those subsidies come from somewhere, and will be taken from the same pool of money that could otherwise go to the paychecks of young people. All of this will cause price increases and job losses that will hit hardest people already struggling to make ends meet.
So as Jon Podhoretz points out, the underhanded manner in which Obama appointed Berwick signals that the Administration doesn't want an election year fight on ObamaCare. But that's just one part of the story.
Another part of the story is that the Berwick appointment shows, beyond any reasonable doubt, that President Obama views ObamaCare as a means to redistribute wealth and as a step in the direction of the kind of single-payer socialized medicine that Obama himself has always favored.
But the kicker in all of this is that it reminds conservatives, Tea Party groups, and anyone who is not a dedicated socialist that ObamaCare was foisted on us against our will. It will serve as added fuel for the Get Out the Vote fire in November, and give Republicans yet another reason to defeat the Obama agenda.
To have this avowed redistributor at the helm of CMS would mean that everywhere in the PPACA that says "The Secretary shall" jump, a Marxist will be making the call as to how high.
So as often as Obama protests that his schemes should not be called socialism, we must continue to do so as long as they are.